Two mountain lion kittens playing in a waterfall.
Text: for Journalists.

Journalists, Thank You for Your Interest!

We've gathered some of the most commonly sought after information below, and have provided photos and videos distributed under creative commons licensing that you may find useful.

Photo of lion turned in a curve.

For calls during business hours,
you may wish to contact our main
office staff at (916) 442-2666.

A staff list is available for reference,
including biographies of those you may
wish to interview.

Copyright Questions

Journalists are welcome to use all information on the
Mountain Lion Foundation website without additional authorization,
even when you are producing for a commercial publication, if proper
credit to the Mountain Lion Foundation is given, including a link back
to our website.

Some photographs and graphics on our general website are restricted for non-commercial or non-modification use. The photographs provided on this page, below, are listed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, or with a Public Domain Dedication.

More information on is available on our page for other copyright policies and restrictions.

What to Do if You Encounter a Mountain Lion

  • Make yourself appear as large as possible.

    Make yourself appear larger by picking up your children, leashing pets in, and standing close to other adults. Open your jacket. Raise your arms. Wave your raised arms slowly.

  • Make noise.

    Yell, shout, bang your walking stick against a tree. Make any loud sound that cannot be confused by the lion as the sound of prey. Speak slowly, firmly and loudly to disrupt and discourage predatory behavior.

  • Act like a predator yourself.

    Maintain eye contact. Never run past or from a mountain lion. Never bend over or crouch down. Aggressively wave your raised arms, throw stones or branches, all without turning away.

  • Slowly create distance.

    Assess the situation. Consider whether you may be between the lion and its kittens, or between the lion and its prey or cache. Back slowly to a spot that gives the mountain lion a path to get away, never turning away from the animal. Give a mountain lions the time and ability to move away.

  • Protect yourself.

    If attacked, fight back. Protect your neck and throat. People have utilized rocks, jackets, garden tools, tree branches, walking sticks, fanny packs and even bare hands to turn away cougars.

Answers to Other Common Questions

Questioning Lion.

mountain lion cougar puma catamount panther
all the same animal!

Whatever you call America's Lion...

he's more than a trophy...
too few in numbers...
across far less habitat...
in a land with more people.

Frequently Asked Questions Answered about Mountain Lions

What's happening in YOUR state?

Our nationwide portal will give you an overview of the status of mountain lions in the United States. Then you can explore the status, law, history, habitat, science and active threats to mountain lions in each western state where mountain lions are common.


Founded in 1986 to stop the trophy hunting of mountain lions in California, the Mountain Lion Foundation (MLF) has grown into a national, non-profit conservation and education organization dedicated to protecting mountain lions and their habitat. MLF has inspired citizens across the nation to act on behalf of lions and their habitat by presenting practical solutions to complex problems, providing unbiased information to media, aiding local activists, promoting lion research, influencing regulation and changing laws.

Commercial Use and Modifiable Photos

The photographs provided in this section are listed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License, or with a Public Domain Mark or Dedication. Please click on any image to visit the photographer's page, where you will also find links to download larger sizes of the images and the attribution.

For specific photo requests, or images of MLF staff or photos from our events, please contact our office and we will be happy to assist you.



The Mountain Lion Foundation is a tax-deductible non-profit organization, tax exempt under
Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS code (Federal I.D. # 94-3015360)

Copyright 1988-2020. Material produced by the Mountain Lion Foundation is protected under copyright laws. Permission to rebroadcast or duplicate is granted for non-commercial use when the Mountain Lion Foundation is credited.